Foraging Rose Hips

One of the easiest things to forage in the fall are rose hips.  They are easy to identify, and there is nothing poisonous to confuse them with. 

Pictured above are a whole bunch of branches my landlady cut down when pruning a very unruly wild rose bush that was in our yard.  Before the hips completely dried out, I went out there and picked as many as I could.  I was going to dry them for storage anyway, so I wasn't worried about the fact that they were looking a little wrinkly.

Find some rose hips on your back yard rose bushes, or find some of the small shrubs that are very plentiful in Western Canada in the ditches along roadsides or in thickets in the woods.  They are especially easy to spot now that the rose hips will be bright red.


Here's what to look for.  They get a bit more bright red than this, but these branches were pruned a bit earlier than I would have picked them.  They will still be fine, though.

The best thing about rose hips is that they are so full of vitamin C.  These are a great item to keep in your pantry especially to help ward of winter colds.  Apparently very little of the vitamin C is destroyed during processing also, so that means if you make some syrup you can also use it to keep yourself healthy.


Once you have some what you want to do is dry them out for storage unless you are going to make jam or something right away.  Most of the recipes that call for rose hips require quite a lot of them, so it is nice that drying small amounts until you have enough is totally an option.

Spread them out on a screen, or use a dehydrator.  Once the hips are dry the long dry brown bits will crumble right off.  I threw mine in a mason jar until I get a chance to go out and get some more. 

Once I have a couple pounds of them, I will be trying out an old recipe from England during WWII that people were encouraged to make to help keep in good health during the food shortages.